Transitioning GfK to a versatile work surroundings

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Together with shopper adjustments when COVID-19 hit, most of our 8,500+ workers pivoted to working from dwelling (WFH) – and many people proceed to take action even at this time. Interacting with purchasers, interviewing job candidates, internet hosting occasions, and socializing have largely gone digital. WFH turned the start line to shaping the way forward for work at GfK.

Trying towards the way forward for work after the pandemic recedes, it’s anticipated that the WFH pattern is right here to remain. Workers have embraced the higher work-life steadiness ensuing from WFH. EY’s 2021 Work Reimagined Worker Survey reveals that 54% of workers would think about leaving their job post-pandemic if they aren’t supplied some type of versatile working association. Mirroring this, employers are benefiting by way of expertise recruitment and retention, in addition to the decreased want for workplace house, whereas not struggling the lack of productiveness that was anticipated of WFH previous to the pandemic. Because of this, 48% of employers say they’re planning to introduce or broaden the usage of versatile work sooner or later.

We at GfK have put collectively a artistic, forward-looking plan referred to as Versatile Work@GfK to comprehend these alternatives. This transformation challenge will basically redefine the place and the way our workers work shifting ahead.

The massive concept behind “Versatile Work@GfK”

Versatile Work@GfK is rooted within the altering wants and expectations of our workforce in a post-pandemic world. We acknowledge our workers’ want for larger flexibility within the office; to this finish, we carried out surveys and workshops with our workers and consulted native groups to type the premise of the worldwide framework that turned Versatile Work@GfK. In spite of everything, as a trusted information and analytics enterprise, who higher to supply us constructive suggestions than our personal workers?

“From the start, we didn’t need this to be solely a top-down government choice. As a substitute, we wished to listen to what folks throughout the enterprise really feel about their expertise working from dwelling – what has gone properly and what they might want to work efficiently going ahead,” says Jutta Suchanek, Chief HR & Variety Officer at GfK.

The survey outcomes confirmed our speculation – that our employees needs extra flexibility in how and the place they work. 70% say that WFH provides them the next high quality of life, 50% say that their stress ranges have decreased, and 88% are pleased with the time saved not commuting.

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Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that workers need to work solely from dwelling going ahead. 62% of staff and 66% of managers say that whereas they would favor to work largely from dwelling, they might nonetheless like to go to the workplace not less than at some point every week. With regard to the latter, 89% of workers say they miss interacting with their colleagues, whereas 64% say they miss in-person enterprise conferences.

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“What’s obligatory is face-to-face conferences with purchasers. We have to actually see how they react to a brand new product or platform, which is troublesome to handle on a Groups name,” says Gernot Teufel, a International Director for gfknewron, a brand new information analytics platform that delivers the most recent market intelligence and suggestions.

After digesting the worker suggestions, our government staff got here collectively throughout an off-site assembly to debate the subsequent steps. At this off-site, we outlined our core rules – primarily, the necessity to provide workers considerably extra flexibility with regard to their work location sooner or later, however to additionally retain our places of work, which we imagine play a priceless function in selling collaboration and strengthening firm tradition. We additionally famous that we have to strike the best steadiness – and that this steadiness may differ throughout groups and capabilities, so changes over time shall be required.

Versatile Work@GfK takes form

Following the off-site assembly, we began a dialogue with native workplace managers and work councils to debate the way forward for work and to ascertain a concrete world framework based mostly on our core rules. The outcome was Versatile Work@GfK, which is organized round two key ideas: Flex Days and Workforce Workplace Days. Flex Days assure that in a typical week, each worker may have two or three days on which they will resolve whether or not to earn a living from home or within the workplace. Flex Days alone are obligatory however not adequate as a result of in-person collaboration can be 100% left to probability if all days had been Flex Days.

The remaining days every week are Workforce Workplace Days, during which workers are required to come back into the workplace to work together and collaborate with colleagues of their direct staff and associated groups. The Workforce Workplace Days per perform or enterprise space are unfold evenly all through the week to make sure that the workplace is properly utilized however by no means overly full.

We unrolled the framework over the course of two months, briefing native leaders in our 70+ places of work across the globe in regards to the new versatile working tips. We acknowledged that the precise plan for implementing versatile work would fluctuate by nation, job perform, workplace, and staff; as such, we empowered these leaders to guide the change administration course of, with assist from a world cross-functional staff. Fortunately, these leaders have actually embraced the transformation and have already proposed well-thought-out plans to implement a versatile work surroundings of their respective nations.

What this implies for our places of work

This new means of working has drastically modified how we see the way forward for work and the way we make the most of our workplace areas across the globe. With a big proportion of our workforce working from dwelling at any given time sooner or later, we’re within the technique of lowering our workplace actual property by 30%, which is able to generate hundreds of thousands of Euros in financial savings for funding in innovation and progress. In fact, this may not work if we retained devoted desks and places of work for particular person workers. Due to this fact, we have now taken, what at first look looks like a radical step, however at second look is the one logical factor to do.

Transferring ahead, there shall be no particular person cubicles or assigned desks in any of our places of work all over the world. This is applicable to all ranges of the corporate hierarchy, from new joiners to center administration to senior administration. By embracing 100% desk-sharing, we can cut back our ratio of desks to folks from 1:1 to a median of six desks for each 10 workers sooner or later.

We’re additionally creating extra open-plan areas inside our places of work to foster teaming and collaboration amongst workers whereas additionally guaranteeing that our places of work have separate collaboration areas for conferences, workshops, and longer telephone and video calls. Nevertheless, we additionally know that there’s a have to harmonize working patterns throughout groups to stop desk shortages. To this finish, we have now procured an app that workers can use to order their desks upfront.

As well as, the way forward for work requires a versatile working mannequin with the mandatory tech infrastructure. Fortuitously, 95% of our workers already had laptops when the pandemic hit, enabling us to pivot to dwelling working in a single day with 100% enterprise continuity. “The IT division did a very good job. From day one, all the pieces was working correctly,” says Gernot Teufel. What’s extra, 96% of our workers say they’re glad or very glad with present digital collaboration instruments corresponding to Microsoft Groups.

Supporting workers and managers

The way forward for work requires employers to think about the methods their work surroundings impacts psychological well being. Some thrive in a house working surroundings: analysis from Psychological Well being America signifies that WFH permits workers to scale back distractions through the workday, keep away from workplace politics, and dedicate extra time to well being and wellness. “It’s been a novelty to WFH full time, and I’ve been attempting to have enjoyable with it. I’ve managed to discover my native space at lunchtime, exit for walks, get pleasure from home-cooked lunches, and extra,” says Toni-Marie Jarvis, a Senior Venture Supervisor at GfK.

Alternatively, 19% of workers – particularly these with youngsters – say they wrestle to steadiness work with their private lives. “WFH was exhausting as I had three younger youngsters working round the home. I needed to rise up at 7 am, get 4 hours of labor executed, handle the youngsters, after which return to work once more thereafter,” says Vlad Ardelean, a Senior Information Scientist at GfK.

At GfK, we try to assist our workers’ psychological well being wherever doable. “Along with versatile working options, we have now partnered with Spectrum. Life to supply each worker with entry to lots of of certified well being and wellbeing consultants. This ensures that our workers obtain all of the psychological well being assist they want – each through the pandemic and past,” says William Otero, Employer Branding Supervisor at GfK. What’s extra, we recurrently share recommendations on managing digital work and practice managers on learn how to combine new workers remotely.

At GfK, we’re additionally involved with work security, even when the work is happening at dwelling. To this finish, we’re guaranteeing our workers are furnished with the correct gear they want at dwelling, together with screens, keyboards, and ergonomic chairs.

Classes discovered and looking out forward at the way forward for work

General, the worker response at GfK to Versatile Work@GfK has been extremely constructive. “To have the flexibleness to earn a living from home while you like, however to even have the choice to go to the workplace while you need to, is wonderful,” says Anna Trautmann, a market analysis marketing consultant at GfK.

Now we have additionally noticed that the need for larger work flexibility is common, transcending capabilities, cultures, and nations. The globally necessary coverage to supply staff with two to 3 Flex Days per week is possible and desired, for instance, from Karachi in Pakistan to Nuremberg in Germany – for each our Finance groups and our Business groups.

Greater worker satisfaction shouldn’t be solely a fascinating finish in itself, however it additionally has direct implications for enterprise success and the way forward for work. Basically, our enterprise is about our folks, and a versatile surroundings is one piece of the general bundle that makes GfK an awesome place to work. If we are able to retain, develop and appeal to the best folks, it will, in flip, enhance our potential to serve our purchasers and develop our enterprise.

In fact, Versatile Work@GfK continues to be very a lot a piece in progress, particularly given the evolving COVID-19 scenario. “Implementing Versatile Work@GfK shall be a multi-year challenge beginning now, after which gaining momentum after the COVID-19 disaster,” says Jutta Suchanek. “I’m positive we’ll collect extra learnings within the subsequent couple of months, and it will assist us see what’s working now and what we have to regulate.”

All in all, we’re enthusiastic about what the way forward for work at GfK holds. With Versatile Work@GfK, we look ahead to a real win-win-win: for our workers, managers, and for the corporate total.

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FAQ part

What’s going to the way forward for work appear to be?
The way forward for work will doubtless be a hybrid of workplace working and distant working. The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing digitization have proven that the majority professionals can perform their jobs from dwelling; on the identical time, the workplace will proceed to play a significant function in the case of collaboration and team-building.

What are the advantages of distant working?
Some great benefits of distant working are quite a few. As an example, the elimination of the each day commute saves time, translating to higher work-life steadiness for a lot of workers. As well as, our information reveals that workers really feel extra productive when working from dwelling. WFH additionally has a internet constructive impact on vitality consumption.

How ought to employers embrace change within the office?
Employers ought to attempt to supply their employees versatile working options to extend satisfaction and retain expertise. Any new transformation challenge ought to take note of workers’ particular person circumstances and the way these have an effect on the place and after they work.